JumpStart Jar Guidelines

Write in timed 10-minute bursts

Nothing inspires creativity like a deadline. The countdown adds pressure to your writing. This pressure shouldn’t give you time for criticism, worry about spelling or grammar, or anything other than getting something down on paper.

Write fast

Speed is the important thing here. Don’t let your logical, critical mind take charge of the writing process at this writing stage. Don’t cross out words or pause seeking the perfect word, write the word that is good enough for now and go on.

Don’t judge the work

Don’t reread the work that you’ve just completed, or allow your Inner Critic convince you that what you’ve written is inferior, strange, or terrible. Get something down on paper. Don’t judge, edit or polish it.

Listen to your subconscious mind

Your subconscious mind is very powerful. Relax and write the raw words that form in your head as fast as you can. Allow the thoughts and images of your subconscious mind bubble forth and write!

Face your dark side

You may find yourself writing things on paper that you never dared to say out loud. You may be afraid of what others think about you if they knew that you wrote this. Acknowledge the fear, but write anyway.

Understand that 1st drafts suck

Get the words down on paper now. You can refine them later. Resist the urge to shred the paper and burn it in your trash can. These feelings pass with time and practice. Most writers hate their first drafts.
Be flexible

If you just don’t connect to the word that you draw out of the jar, throw it back in and draw another. If the verb that you draw out of the jar would work better in another form, change it. Add determiniers, prepositions and conjunctions as needed to make it work for you.

Scroll to Top